Sergey Karjakin Repeats as Norway Chess Winner
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When he was playing against Anish Giri he didn't expect to finish with 3.0/3, but he did. Sergey Karjakin defeated Fabiano Caruana in the final round in Stavanger to clinch victory yet again at the Norway Chess tournament. Like Karjakin, Magnus Carlsen finished on the same number of points as last year after beating his compatriot Simen Agdestein while Vladimir Kramnik finished on 9th place as he lost to Alexander Grischuk.
Oops, he did it again! Sergey Karjakin won the Norway Chess tournament for the second year in a row, somewhat unexpectedly because of a slow start but deservedly as his main rivals made too many “unforced errors”, as Peter Svidler described it. Karjakin finished on the same number of points as last year, 6.0/9, and so did runner-up Magnus Carlsen: 5.5/9. Alexander Grischuk cemented his world #3 position with an excellent third place in a tournament which he described as “clearly the strongest 10-player tournament ever held.” For Vladimir Kramnik, who finished in 9th place, the tournament was one to quickly forget.
The first game to end in the final round was Giri vs Svidler, and it was not much of a game: right out of the opening the players repeated the moves. “When you have a nice position without counterplay it's not always that you don't lose!” said Giri, referring to his unfortunate loss against Karjakin. “I don't have any excuses, I am just making up one. I didn't know I wasn't in the mood to fight but somehow I wasn't,” added the Dutch number one.
Topalov and Aronian also split the point, but there things could have gone differently. The Bulgarian finished on a decent 4.5/9 after a bad start (“It looked totally terrible. Not only the way I was losing my games but I was also blundering.”), but that could have been plus one if he had been a bit more alert. Both players missed an idea for White on move 24 that was connected to a knight going from e3 to c2. Backward knight moves can easily be missed!
Aronian explained that he hadn't been in great shape during the tournament. “Generally I was playing badly. I was not feeling 100%. I just had a nose operation and I'm still recovering. The Olympiad is a place where I'm going to have my revenge!”
Then Kramnik went down against his compatriot Grischuk, who seemed under pressure in a Grünfeld and got into time trouble. “Maybe that was what made him go astray,” said Grischuk because as so often, his level didn't really go down with just a few minutes on the clock. Instead, it was Kramnik who started making mistakes. Grischuk: “Better lucky than good!”
And so the tournament got to see an exciting finish with Karjakin defending his half-point lead over Carlsen. The Russian GM was expected to draw his game with Caruana, while Carlsen was building up a nice advantage against Agdestein.
Espen Agdestein declares that he is supporting Magnus, not his brother Simen, in Norway Chess round 9. "I am part of Magnus' team."— Ian Rogers ( @GMIanRogers) June 13, 2014
However, the 47-year-old was by no means going to help his compatriot; in fact he was putting up a good defense. Only just before the time control Agdestein started to make a few small errors.
“I don't think I played particularly well, not too disastrous either but I never got going and obviously I missed my chance yesterday,” said Carlsen.
If Karjakin would draw his game, the tournament would be decided in a blitz playoff. The organizers had already put up a chess set in a separate room, but it wasn't necessary. Caruana made a big mistake on move 32 and got into a lost position. It took a while, but eventually Karjakin converted the full point to clinch his second victory in Norway.
“Especially when I was playing Anish I didn't think I would finish with plus three!” said Karjakin, who didn't bring a second to the tournament. His regular second, GM Alexander Motylev, was playing a tournament himself.
“I was doing it alone, which is quite unusual for me. My wife was helping me and my manager was supporting me. That was my team basically. Last year I also came only with her. She is my best second!”
During one of the interviews, Karjakin was asked the typical question what he would do with his 100,000 Euro first prize. He said “I don't know,” but his wife Galiya, who was standing closeby, said “I know!”
@SergeyKaryakin Congratulations on your victory at Norwaychess tournament! Qatar seems to be very good place for holidays 😎— Teymur Rajabov ( @rajachess) June 13, 2014
@Ponomariov) June 13, 2014
Norway Chess 2014 | Pairings & Results
|Round 1||03.06.14||15:30 CET||Round 2||04.06.14||15:30 CET|
|Round 3||05.06.14||15:30 CET||Round 4||07.06.14||15:30 CET|
|Round 5||08.06.14||15:30 CET||Round 6||09.06.14||15:30 CET|
|Round 7||10.06.14||15:30 CET||Round 8||12.06.14||15:30 CET|
|Round 9||13.06.14||14:30 CET|
Norway Chess 2014 | Final Standings
- Round 8: Karjakin in Sole Lead in Norway After Beating Kramnik
- Round 7: Norway Chess R7: Giri Blunders, Loses to Karjakin
- Round 6: Norway R6: Three-Way Tie For First as Topalov Beats Kramnik
- Round 5: Norway Chess R5: Kramnik Beats & Overtakes Caruana
- Round 4: Karjakin Beats Grischuk in 4th Round Norway Chess
- Round 3: Norway Chess: Carlsen Escapes Against Caruana Who Maintains Lead
- Round 2: Aronian, Caruana & Grischuk Winners in Round 2 Norway Chess
- Round 1: Norway Chess R1: Grischuk Blunders, Loses to Caruana
- Blitz: Norway Blitz: Carlsen Shines on Home Soil
- Preview: Star-studded Norway Chess Starts Today